There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or laminate wood?
Of course if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heater shouldn’t require continuous attention, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted, either. Ignoring your system could result in indoor air that is loaded with dust or allergens (or worse!), or even an inefficient heating unit that is wasting energy and money with every utility bill.
But how can I know if it’s time to replace my heating unit?
The following warning signs can help you determine if you just need a quick tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heating system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating system to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much repairing along the way. A few indicators that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician frequently for the same concern;
- needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach 50% of the present value of the heating system, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your utility bills are a little more than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC system is weakening. Most companies can provide a residential energy audit which can show you easily remedied inefficiencies like weather-stripping around your doors and windows or attic insulation. It may also be the first step in deciding if your heating unit is going out. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer products are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency product could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of the new system.
3. Old Age
Heating systems were never designed to last until the end of time. Better, more efficient systems are coming out all the time. But how long should your system last? The magic number for a furnace or boiler is 15 years. But keep in mind many old heating units operate at an efficiency of just 65% or worse! A replacement that’s been qualified with the Energy Star rating can be up to 30 percent more efficient, and that’s a difference you’ll notice in your home and your wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you have to raise your voice to talk because your heater is abnormally loud, that could be a sign that your duct system is undersized and too much air is being pushed through too small an opening.
Other noises like squealing, rattling, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. It could be as straightforward as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely separated.
Today’s latest products work more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly hike up the heating system to keep things in the house comfortable, that should be a major sign that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several things that could cause this issue - it may be resolved with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new heater, give some thought to your thermostat.
6. Humidity Issues
In the winter, low humidity makes the air inside your home feel colder than it is, often tricking you into turning up the heat. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems help to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC unit.
7. Air Quality Issues
Several issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed heating system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road to resolving them.
So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Midland Air Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.